Wednesdays with the Arts: The Truth About Sewing

Fabric and sewing supplies.I learned from my mother for most things and on other things I taught myself. My mom never made a corset, but I’ve made several and had to teach myself along the way. Of course had she not laid a foundation for sewing knowledge there wouldn’t have been anything for me to build on. I completely taught myself to knit using books and searching for answers when I had questions. I still have a long way to go, but it still feels great to know I can do what I can do.

When it comes to sewing I think my mother has invaded my brain. She’s the woman who will take something I’m working on apart while I sleep and leave me a note to see when I get up. “We don’t do it like that,” she says when something isn’t up to standards. While I grumble I’m thankful because that means I’m constructing a garment I can be proud of and that will last.

I have a hate-love relationship with fabrics that have stripes and other designs. I hate them, but I love them too. So when I see something I really like I’ll buy it even though I told myself the last time I was working with stripes or other designs that I would never work with them again. Never say never right…but how does that work since I said never while making that statement in the first place? :).

My mom is that woman who demands near perfection. In other words, you can’t have one half of the flower in one spot and then because you’re too lazy to cut the pieces separate and match up the design, have the other half of the flower three inches lower. I get it and I don’t mind…really, but those stripes all start to look like one smorgasbord of lines to me sometimes. It’s like whoa, give my eyes a break here. So while working on it I remember I hate it. When I’m in the store fabric shopping I tend to forget that all that pretty is going to take a whole lot of work. But I am glad my mother sews the way she does and demands that I sew with pride and accuracy as well.

She will look at store bought clothes and shake her head at some of them for that reason. And for a long time I never really paid that much attention to those kinds of things. But when I put on a particular dress for the first time and realized the flaws in how the pearls were sewn on to the collar. My first thought was, “we don’t do it like that.” My second thought was…, “oh dear God I’ve turned into my mother.” LOL. My mom is awesome so that’s not a bad thing. But when I’m wearing the dress yet looking at it and wondering if I can fix it somehow to bring it up to standard I know I’m a mini version of my mom by way of sewing…I don’t know, that’s kind of scary. It’s like the first time I said, “in my day kids didn’t do things like that,” and realized I sounded just like my parents. My goodness I must be getting old.

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